Since November of 2004, we have been tracking the number of bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons and shirts that we sell in support for each of the Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential race. While polls measure opinions of the moment, our measure tracks a more strong and lasting and lasting commitment to show their support for a particular candidate in a public way. That kind of strong commitment turns into donations, and later turns into votes. The following is the percent share of sales of our Election 2008 gear in the past week of August 12-18 2007 for each candidate who garnered at least a 1% share of sales:
Dennis Kucinich: 32.0%
Hillary Clinton: 26.3%
John Edwards: 16.7%
Barack Obama: 13.2%
Joseph Biden: 4.6%
Al Gore: 3.9%
Bill Richardson: 1.8%
Christopher Dodd: less than 1 percent
Mike Gravel: less than 1 percent
Dennis Kucinich is — egad! — in first place for grabbing almost a third of the share of sales this past week, with Hillary Clinton six percentage points behind. This is not a fluke, but the culmination of a six-week trend of a gradual increase in Kucinich’s share. This is really, really interesting to me, especially because it doesn’t match the national polls of potential voters. The information we get here measures an act of commitment — spending money for a message to be displayed in public. Perhaps the people who are supporting Dennis Kucinich right now are feeling more committed, despite the fact that they are in smaller numbers in the population. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kucinich’s rise in share had something to do with Al Gore’s dropoff in share (and to a smaller extent the dropoff of Mike Gravel’s share). Is Dennis Kucinich going to be the candidate of dissident Democratic outrage in 2008?
Look for another update next week.